Is MLB the "brain" of the defense?
You're the quarterback of the defense. That's what the middle linebacker is and everybody who's played it has to have that voice to speak up and speak out and hopefully everybody will be on the same page. So, you do have to be the brains of the defense, the quarterback.
Are there any new wrinkles on the defense year or is the idea ‘if it ain't broke, don't fix it'?
You can say that, but, while we were good statistically, we didn't dominate and that's what we have to do this year. We have to get a lot more turnovers, get the ball in the end zone a lot more. We need to dominate, that would be a big difference from this year to last year. We were good last year, but we don't want to just settle for that. We have a few new players, we'll just have to get the job done.
A lot was made of this being a no-stars, no-name defense last year. Do you like to toil away in anonymity?
I'm not going to say that we have no stars. When a player has a opportunity, he has to make a name for himself. Like Demetric Evans, like Ryan Clark, they made names for themselves like I'm doing for myself.
How important is it for you to seize this opportunity?
I've been on the other side of the fence, jumping from team to team. You don't get too many opportunities and once you get that second or third chance you've got to take advantage of it and that's what I'm doing.
What were you able to learn from Antonio Pierce last year?
He showed leadership, he went through adversity. The difference is that Antonio had a couple of days to prepare (to move into the middle as the starter). I had the offseason to think about what was going on. Last year had to prepare myself to work not just the Will position, but the Mike and Sam as well.
Was there anything that you picked up from Pierce as far as ways of leading that defense?
I still talk to Antonio, he gives me little pointers here and there, I just take it and run with it.
When were you told you'd be lining up with the first-team defense?
I just saw the depth chart on the first day we got here. Once you see that, you've just got to go for it.
Your chance came when another guy (LaVar Arrington) got injured. That's just one of those flukes of the league, right?
Unfortunately, it is. A lot of players get hurt and you don't want the guy in front of you to get hurt. But it happens and you've got to be able to step in and get the job done.